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Vector Inspiration: Talented Designer from England Phil Lees

posted by: Iaroslav Lazunov, in Articles / Interview/ Comments: 0

Our guest today, a talented designer from England Phil Lees. "I Was a senior designer for many years on sports magazines and publications before changing career direction, and have only recently got back into design after discovering the joys of vectoring and its creative possibilities.” – he says. Learn more about Phil Lees and his illustrations after the jump.

My name is Phil Lees, and everything I have that is vector artwork is in my DA gallery. I have only been concentrating on pure vector for the last few months.

I come from Birmingham in England, and after studying graphic design at college, worked as a designer before starting working on Macs in the late 1980s and made the transition into desktop publishing. Was a senior designer for many years on sports magazines and publications before changing career direction, and have only recently got back into design after discovering the joys of vectoring and its creative possibilities.

Latest 'glamour' vector, this time featuring actress/model Gemma Atkinson, as suggested by magXlander (thanks for that). I've done this one as a greyscale just to see what the outcome would be like. It's the usual mix of vector and line work, including individual hairs galore (I must get a tablet) but one difference is I have experimented with the SVG filters to try and add a bit more texture to the swathes of skin.

I'd always been a fan of propaganda style art and it's direct way of imparting information and political ideology. I purchased a Russian poster online and thought I'd try my hand at producing my own. The chance to utilise cyrilic fonts also appealed to my typographic side. It developed into a series centred on the 'Guardian' using altering illustrative styles. These were all designed in a mixture of Illustrator and Photoshop and are, therefore, vexels.

First in a series Photoshop poster featuring 'The Guardian', a graphic figurehead of a fictional totalitarian state. The style is representative of cold war propaganda. The Guardian and military figured were drawn in illustrator, imported to Photoshop and coloured. Multiple distress and stain brushes were used to give the distressed look

This Illustrator CS5 all-vector venture into the world of Japanese modelling sees the beautiful and bountiful Nonami Takizawa captured in repose, courtesy of a wallpapers, a multitude of meshes and fine hair detailing by way of the new Wacom tablet that arrived mid-project. The lace bra took an too long by half and is a texture that, for future reference, should be left well alone!

I started watching Illustrator online tutorials and came across Frank Wyte's work which inspired me to attempt to break away from the relative comfort of Photoshop and all its filters and effects and take on the much stiffer task of taming the gradient mesh.

A friend suggested I try rendering something mechanical rather than the usual fleshy delights... so i did. Full vector created in Illustrator CS5, predominantly using the mesh tool, but with more gradient fills than usual on things such as the wheel hubs. The type tool was also back in business with this piece as well as use of clipping masks on the front forks mechanism.

I was trying to find a quality American Football image to work on when, for some reason, this picture appeared amongst the search items courtesy of That's fate for you I guess. Originally colour adjusted in Photoshop, this is another Illustrator CS5 vector using predominantly meshes with straight vector detailing. So much for using bald subjects...

Usual methodology - dozens of layers of mesh, topped off with straight line work detailing, including the stitching (Edit, I used multiple gradient fills to add texture the ball). The main image was from while the autograph was posted online by a grateful fan who had received it from the man himself. The background was taken from another image and rendered in B/W in order not to detract from the central study. Oh, and his name was done with the type tool. Respect to FrankWyte81 whose rendition of Matt Ryan inspired me to try my hand at a gridiron piece.

Second mesh project, all created in CS5 using meshes and straight vectors. Next time I plan to use a bald subject!

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